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Wilcox defeats ECI in first round playoff series

The Wilcox County Patriot baseball team (11-11 overall record) went on the road and defeated the Emanuel County Institute Bulldogs in a best-of-three series this week to advance to the second round of the GHSA class A playoffs.

On Thursday, the Patriots took game one of the series by a final score of 13-3, and ECI then won game two by a score of 9-7 to set up the tiebreaking third game, which was held on Friday night.

The Patriots subsequently took game three by a 16-1 final score line on Friday night to clinch their spot in the round of 16.

Patriots 13, ECI 3

In Thursday’s first game, Wilcox took an early 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning, but ECI countered with three runs in the bottom half of the frame.

ECI led 3-2 following the first inning, but the Patriots took over from there and controlled the remainder of game one on their way to the 13-3 run-rule shortened win after just five innings of play.

Wilcox scored two runs in the top of the second, one in the third inning, and then eight in the top of the fifth to finish off the game one victory.

Rhett Davis took the win on the mound for Wilcox by pitching all five innings and conceding just three unearned runs.

Patriot offensive stats from game one:

1. Cameron Patterson- one hit, one stolen base, and one run scored

2. Brock White- one walk and one run

3. Branson Owens- two hits, one walk, one RBI, and four runs

4. Davis- four hits, two RBIs, and one run

5. Clark Gaines- two sacrifice bunts

6. Desmond Tisdol- one hit, hit by pitch twice, one stolen base, one RBI, and one run

7. Lagan Luke- one walk, two RBIs, and two runs

8. Bo Keene- one hit, one hit by pitch, and two runs

9. Cameron Coleman- one hit, one RBI, and one run

ECI 9, Patriots 7

In game two, ECI had built a 9-2 lead after the top half of the sixth inning.

Wilcox fought their way back into the game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, but the Bulldogs held off the Patriot comeback to force the third game.

Gaines led the Wilcox batting lineup in game two with two hits and two RBIs, and Davis also had two hits, including a triple. Patterson, Owens, Tisdol, Luke and Coleman each finished game two with one hit apiece.

Gaines, Judge McDonald, and White all put in time on the mound for the Patriots.

Patriots 16, ECI 1

In game three, Wilcox was out to an 8-0 lead after the top of the fourth inning, and they later scored eight more runs in the top half of the fifth to come away with the 16-1 win after just five innings played.

Owens pitched all five innings for the Patriots in the contest and allowed just the one Bulldog run on five hits and one walk, while recording one strikeout.

Leading the batting lineup for the Patriots in Friday’s game was White, who accounted for four of the nine Wilcox hits, and drove in five runs while also scoring three of his own.

Offensive stats for other Patriot contributors from game three of the series were as follows: Patterson- two hits, two walks, one hit by pitch, one stolen base, one RBI and four runs scored; Owens- one hit, one walk, and one run; Davis- one hit, one walk, one stolen base and three RBIs; Gaines- two walks, one sacrifice fly, two RBIs, and one run; Tisdol- one hit, one RBI, and one run; Luke- two walks and two runs; Keene- one walk, one HBP, one RBI and one run; Coleman- two walks, one RBI, and two runs.

Wilcox will travel to play number seven ranked Seminole County (19-7 overall record) next week for the second round of the state tournament. The official GHSA state bracket has the second round match-ups scheduled for double-headers on Thursday, with the tie breaking games set for Friday if necessary.